Toffee-nut cup character, caramel and almond, subtle bittering cocoa tones. Apple and pear accents, big body, and integrated acidity, and a long finish of nougat and cocoa. City+ to Full City+. Good for espresso.
The town of Chalchuapa sits near the western slopes of the Volcn de Santa Ana (Apaneca-Ilamatepec mountain range to be exact), and is where this coffee originates. Finca San Miguel is a 12 hectare farm planted almost entirely in Bourbon, with a nominal amount of Pacas mixed in as well. Altitude at the farm is 1300 meters above sea level, and this coffee is a fully washed, and dried on clay patios. This lot is the result of a new coffee project in the region by one of the local mills, their goal being to identify the top qualities from farmers they already buy coffee from. These coffees are then kept separate throughout the milling process, and sold as an individual microlots as opposed to being lost to large blends. This gives the farmer the opportunity to be paid premium prices for their best coffee, which for some of these farmers, is a new opportunity.
This coffee handles well in the roaster, and brews well in light and dark applications. Beans vary a little in size, but are generally over 16 screen with the occasional "elephant" large bean (these are actually the small amount of Pacas cultivar). I preferred our City+ roast, where a nice baking spice accent note is sensed in aroma and cup, complimenting a well constructed base of dark sugar and roasted nuts. Full City roasts will tease out a dark cacao aspect too, especially resonant at this level. The brewed coffee offers thick body, dense sweetness, and a pleasantly mild acidity. Middle roasts have dominant flavors of roasted almond sprinkled with light brown sugar, accents of cinnamon stick and sweetened condensed milk in the finish. Full City roasts show a fully realized bittersweetness of high % cacao chocolate bar, and subtle fruited highlights in the finish. The single origin espresso shot I pulled with our Full City roast was exquisite, an incredibly rich bittersweet chocolate syrup flavor, and ever so slight apple-like acidity.